Working with overloaded WIP that isn’t yours…

It’s 1030pm. I was promised three major artifacts that would allow me to move forward with three different projects by three different people …. Tonight. My inbox? Empty. Surprised? Nope. So my three cards sit on the board … blocked. In fact, my blocked cards often outweigh my entire backlog. Is there ever a task or project that isn’t interconnected and requires collaboration with somebody? Limiting your own WIP is certainly a fabulous step to managing workflow and increasing effectiveness; however, … [Read More]


Aligning Workplace Learning to Organisational Paradigms

Being exposed to Reinventing Organizations has been incredibly effective for me to better articulate the dynamics of how a company or large groups within a company are conducting management strategy. That articulation then removes judgment, on my part at least, and provides simple acknowledgement of current status. Models and frameworks such as exhibit 1 below help us develop necessary shared language, and in this particular one, Laloux helps us visualise more effective strategy for incremental evolution forward. My mind then goes to … [Read More]


Problem Solving Isn’t Always about the Problem Presented

I’ve had all this army, all these officers… This damn Hooker, this damn idiot Meade. All of them. The whole bloody, lousy mess of sick-brained, potbellied scareheads. They ain’t fit to lead a johnny detail. They ain’t fit to pour pee out of a boot with instructions written under the heel. I’m tired. It’s always easy for me to watch Gettysburg because while I possibly have much of the script memorised, my empathy with their emotions experiences change and often … [Read More]


Mob Programming for Large Group Writing

It is always a daunting task to bring several (10+) innovative, energetic, and experienced individuals together for not only visioning, but also articulating that vision in a way that speaks to a wide variety of professional paths within an industry. All of us had one thing in common; we believed in the power of the agile mindset in education. Excellent steps were taken to ensure maximum effectiveness in our collaboration … Before we met, we took an assessment that identified … [Read More]


Academic Coaching Practices

This post represents the culmination of a series on values, mindset, and practices around academic coaching. In reality, coaching is difficult. If we really want to make a difference in the overloaded lives of our adult learners, we can take a page from Daloz’s book, Mentor, and see the challenges, heartbreak, and most importantly, the incredible transformation that gets experienced, both for yourself and the learner. Whether you are an administrator looking to increase retention, a professor who wants to provide the … [Read More]


Academic Coach Target Areas: Writing Skills

We’ve covered three major areas for academic coaching to target with adult learners, including Academic Expectations, Communication Skills, and Grammar Skills. It can be easy to consider grammar and writing as the same strategy for improvement, but it’s an important differentiation for students, faculty, and coaches to value. Writing skills directly influence stronger communication skills, and in that we focus on flow, articulating thoughts, and presenting information effectively. It’s a natural tendency for academics to want students to focus on … [Read More]


Academic Coach Target Areas: Grammar Skills

As a continuation of focusing on the specific target areas as a learning coach to adult students, we move from Academic Expectations and Communication Expectations and into the realm of grammar skills. This is a skillset where you will see the majority of your adult learners cringe. It typically doesn’t matter where the reality of their skills lay, there is a perception that they need to do better. In fact, often the perception is that it’s simply too overwhelming to handle. Communication … [Read More]


Academic Coach Target Areas: Communication Skills

As a continuation of focusing on the specific target areas as a learning coach to adult students, we move from Academic Expectations and into the realm of communication skills. It has been surprising to me how many students nod their heads sagely either virtually or in-person when I discuss the high value of communication skills. Everybody understand the need. And… many think that they are pretty decent at it. Communication is crucial in all types of academic coaching. As a … [Read More]


Academic Coach Target Areas: Academic Expectations

I had mentioned that there were two major practice levels that an academic coach needs in order to focus on the learning strategies for adult learners in my post titled Inspect and Adapt: A Learning Coach Practice. In that post, I had explored the “big picture” approach to coaching with the underlying goal of helping students transition away from fixed mindset thinking. This second level digs into the target areas for a learning coach to focus along with strategies on addressing … [Read More]


Inspect and Adapt: A Learning Coach Practice

There are two major practice levels that an academic coach needs in order to focus on being a learning coach for adult students need in order for them successful in a fast-paced learning environment. The first level is what I would call “big picture” approach of coaching, regardless of the gaps and goals, there is a mindset towards inspecting and adapting. The second practice level, which I will address in future posts, focus on specific target areas and strategies for addressing … [Read More]


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About Marian

My passion is centered around ensuring effective learning experiences that improve people's lives. Developing a learning mindset is my ultimate goal whether working with academic programs or corporate training; formal or informal learning practices. It is my belief that our potential for agility is limited only by our capacity for learning.

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